OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested and charged two 15-year-old girls for allegedly running a prostitution ring in Ottawa that offered girls aged 13 to 17 to adult clients.
A spokesman for the Ottawa police said on Tuesday a third suspect, a 17-year-old girl, was still at large.
Police said the teenagers appear to have operated without the help of adults, although they are still gathering evidence in the case. The three cannot be named under Canadian law because they are minors.
“It’s still an ongoing and active investigation,” said Ottawa police spokesman Henri Lanctot.
The 15 year olds, who used social media to recruit others, face charges including human trafficking, abduction, forcible confinement, sexual assault, robbery and uttering threats.
“My reaction is pure shock, I can’t think of any other way to explain it,” Staff Sergeant John McGetrick told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
He said three known victims were invited to meet the 15 year olds through “innocent social means” and were then forcibly taken to other locations and offered to adult men for sex.
“As parents we know our children’s friends, but do we know their electronic friends?” he said.
Reporting By Louise Egan; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Eric Beech